Ugandan teams win FIBA U-18 Africa Zone V Basketball Championship

Ugandan teams win FIBA U-18 Africa Zone V Basketball Championship

KAMPALA, Uganda | Xinhua | Both Ugandan boys’ and girls’ teams have emerged champions of the FIBA U-18 Zone V Basketball Championship 2024.

The girls’ team beat Rwanda 82-52, and the boys’ team edged Rwanda 69-66, as the championship concluded at the Lugogo Indoor Stadium on Friday night.

In the girls’ final, the Ugandan team, led by skipper Christine Namyalo, took a 41-24 lead at halftime before sealing the win at 82-52. Resty Nanangwe scored a game-high 21 points, while Shiphrah Kiranda added 18 points to lead the Junior Gazelles. For Rwanda, Brigitte Nibishaka and Rebecca Cyuzuzo scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

“We failed to match the Ugandan team, and our defending was not good,” Rwanda’s captain Solange Umwari told Xinhua after the match.

The boys’ final was a tense encounter, with Rwanda leading 34-29 at halftime and later blowing a 63-56 lead with two minutes remaining, but Uganda turned the table in the end.

Uganda’s captain Tejan Joel Rugette, who was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Peter Serunjogi each scored 15 points for the Junior Silverbacks, while Dylan Lenson Kayijuka scored a game-high 26 points for Rwanda.

Uganda’s head coach Andrew Tendo Senyondwa attributed the victory to teamwork. “It was a very difficult final, and our boys had to keep their nerves to win it in the last two minutes,” said Senyondwa.

Earlier in the girls’ playoff match, Kenya defeated Tanzania 70-63 to finish third, while Kenya beat Tanzania 79-71 in the boys’ playoff.

The two Ugandan teams have now qualified for the FIBA U-18 African Championship, scheduled for August 2024 in South Africa. ■

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